Runners often cite “affordability” as one of the reasons they are initially attracted to the sport. For the most part, the lack of equipment necessary to run translates to a minimum financial investment. A pair of running shoes usually does the trick.
Of course, it’s probably more comfortable to run in shorts and a t-shirt rather than jeans and a button-down, so some type of gear becomes necessary. Running can be as affordable or as expensive as your budget, and imagination, will allow.
Where are some places to go to find gear? Running Chick has put together a quick list of different types of places to get your gear—simple, fancy or otherwise:
Local Running Store/Local Bike Shop/Local Sporting Goods Store
It always pays to buy local and support your hometown community. If you are new to the area, check the Internet or your local phone book for listings, or ask around at the gym, the office, church, school, etc.
Runners might be surprised to find that the local bike shop often has nutrition and hydration products that can be used for both disciplines.
Places like TJ Maxx, TK Maxx (UK), Marshall’s, Ross, Winners, etc., will often have running apparel tucked in to their “active” clothing racks. It may take some persistence and patience to find something, but the deal will make it worthwhile.
Big Name Stores
Even if you don’t have one of these stores in your area, you can shop online and get the same (or better) deals as in the store.
Remember to check out the clearance pages on these sites!
This is a great place to try on the gear you see in the catalogs and magazines. For example, if you have been wanting a Fuel Belt but aren’t sure which size would be comfortable for you, you can test it out at the Expo!
You’ll also find local businesses at the Expos too. You may uncover a gem you didn’t know existed.
There are sites like Bizrate that can help you compare shoes prices.
- If you are having trouble finding the shoes you want, check with the manufacturer directly. For example, one runner bought trail shoes from Inov8 and was directed to Schnee‘s as a retailer.
- Always look in the “clearance” section—at stores and online.
- Shop the seasons in the off-season. Buy your summer gear in the fall when it’s marked down to sell quickly.
- Once you find something you like, buy more than one.
- If you are ordering online, consider combining your order with that of a runner-friend and save on shipping costs!
What are your favorites? Feel free to share your favorite stops for gear in the comment section.